Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father – an elusive European warlock – only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the mose hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
I was so impressed with Hex Hall! It’s a funny, suspenseful, magic-filled story with great characters and world building.
Sophie has revealed her witchy powers to humans one too many times and is sent to Hex Hall as punishment – a reform school for Prodigium. While there, she discovers more about herself, and her family, than she ever knew before or could have guessed at, gets a crush on the hottest guy at school, makes some enemies, befriends the lone vampire student at the academy and stumbles across a mystery that involves blood, death and some wicked magic.
Sophie is such a realistic character. Her reactions to the situations she finds herself in are believable, and she has a wicked sense of sarcasm and humour. I really liked that I was able to connect with the secondary characters in the book, Jenna, Elodie and Archer. They were as developed as they could be with us only seeing them through Sophie’s eyes. I would have liked to see more Archer, but I have a feeling he’ll show up in the sequel(s).
I was impressed with Rachel Hawkins’ worldbuilding. She took well-known creatures/myths/etc. and made them her own. We get to learn a bit about the background of how the Prodigium came to be, and how they interact with society. We don’t get too much information about Sophie’s immediate family (read: absent father), but I loved the background information about her grandmother and great-grandmother and I really did not see the twist at the end coming. It came at me out of left field and it was awesome.
The major cliffhanger at the end left me crying for more, and there were a few scenes I would have liked to see elaborated or drawn out a bit more, but Hex Hall is a wonderful debut novel and definitely worth the read if you like magic and the supernatural. With a good mix of humour, action and romance it will definitely appeal to a wide audience of ages.
Hex Hall is part of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge